Statistical quality control methods in infection control and hospital epidemiology, Part II: Chart use, statistical properties, and research issues

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1998 Apr;19(4):265-83.


This is the second in a two-part series discussing and illustrating the application of statistical process control (SPC) in hospital epidemiology. The basic philosophical and theoretical foundations of statistical quality control and their relation to epidemiology are emphasized in order to expand the mutual understanding and cross-fertilization between these two disciplines. Part I provided an overview of the philosophy and general approach of SPC, illustrated common types of control charts, and provided references for further information or statistical formulae. Part II now discusses alternate possible SPC approaches, statistical properties of control charts, chart-design issues and optimal control limit widths, some common misunderstandings, and more advanced issues. The focus of both articles is mostly nonmathematical, emphasizing important concepts and practical examples rather than academic theory and exhaustive calculations.

MeSH terms

  • Data Display
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Forms and Records Control
  • Hospitals / standards
  • Infection Control / standards*
  • Infection Control / statistics & numerical data
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Quality Control
  • United States